Are there different rules for a touchdown in the NFL and the collegiate game?

And when did the meaning of "touch-down" change? Now, neither the ball nor the ball carrier needs to be "touched down". They can both be flying through the air, and not come close to the ground in the end zone.

Update:

I don't understand the comments about the feet (or foot) touching in bounds. This sounds like you are talking about a complete (or incomplete) pass. If a ball carrier has even one toe out of bounds before a touchdown is scored, it is not a touchdown. I still don't understand how a ball carrier can be flat on his back in the field of play; slam the ball up and behind his head into the end zone, and it be declared a touchdown. This happened in one of the recent bowl games....don't remember which one.

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    In both college and pro football, if any portion of the ball crosses the plane of the goal line, and the offensive player has possession of the ball, it is a touchdown.

    On any play in football, the position of the ball after the play is decided by forward progress of the ball, not necessarily where the ball is when everyone stops moving. So, the instant the ball crosses the goal line, the play is over...it does not matter if the player ends up on the ground of the end-zone or not, so long as the ball crossed the line.

    As far as the origin of the term "touchdown", I found this on the website:

    http://en.allexperts.com/q/Football-Trivia-General...

    "The term touchdown comes from the sport of rugby. In rugby the ball must actually be touched down to the ground by the ball carrier when he crosses the end line for the score (known as a try) to be official. That also use to be the case as American football was being formed but, obviously, that is no longer the rule. By the way, although they have to do it, the term touchdown is not used in rugby."

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  • Noelle
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    I do not think it is likely that could happen. For Tennessee to score the first 10 points without scoring a touchdown they would have to score two field goals (3 points each) and 2 safteys (2 points each). Sorry that is just not going to happen. The Titans are playing at home which gives them an edge. However, I think that defense of the Ravens might give them some great field position early (via a turnover) so I will say Ravens score the first TD.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The NFL needs two feet inbounds and the College needs only one.

    The touchdown means touch the football ground, but they changed the rule in 1962 where you can fly in the air and still be elligible for a touchdown.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I think the NFL makes up rules as they go along( thinking back to the Balt. Ravens/ Pitt. Steelers game) ..answer me this....WHEN did the NFL change the rules for a touchdown ?? I always thought and have read that the BALL had to break the plane of the goal-line for it to be a touchdown..while in control of the ball carrier and not the ball carrier himself

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  • R. T.
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    They've answered about the touch rule already. One foot in college, two in pro. You don't have to actually touch the ground in the end zone.

    Only other difference I can think of right now is the celebration. Pros can spike the football, throw it in the stands, keep the football and take it home, stand in the end zone and dance, what have you.

    College players aren't allowed to do any of that. They can chest bump and posture for the crowd for a moment, then they need to get out of the end zone and get back to the sideline. Excessive celebration is a penalty.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Aside from the one-foot (college) and both-feet (pro) that must land in-bounds, I don't know of any other difference.. but if you find out, let me know!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes alot

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  • 4 years ago

    I do not know the best way to answer this without offending

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  • chanda
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Was wondering the same question

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    no

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